Sacha Continues To Impress In Japanese F3
The fifth round of the All-Japan Formula 3 Championship began with rain for the three practice sessions. Sacha topped 2 of the sessions while getting to grips with a track he had visited earlier on in the year for Super GT.
For Qualifying the next day the track had dried up and Fenestraz was able to set lap times that put him on the front row of the grid for both races, with championship rival Ritomo Miyata just beating his time on both occasions.
Rain in between qualifying and race one had made the track damp, but the conditions were still good enough to stay on slick tyres. Both Sacha and Miyata got off to a good start with Hiroki Otsu moving into third place behind them before the safety car came out early on.
Sacha seized his opportunity when the race restarted. He went three-wide with Miyata and Otsu down the main straight and having the inside line for the first corner meant Sacha was able to claim the lead.
Unfortunately all of Sacha's hard work was taken away from him when he was given a drive-through penalty for an infringement during the safety car restart. This led to rival Miyata taking the race victory ahead of Sacha’s B-Max Racing with Motopark team-mate Enaam Ahmed, as Sacha ended the race outside of the points.
Sacha’s championship fight was given a boost after the race however after a protest was put in against Miyata’s car and he was disqualified from the race. Earlier in the week Miyata was also excluded from the second race at SUGO Sportsland last month for a similar reason.
The French-Argentinian’s championship lead was still healthy going into the second race of the weekend, which was run in very wet conditions.
Sacha was able to get a great start to take the lead from Miyata entering the first corner. Over the 21 laps he consistently set quick laps in difficult conditions, with team-mate Ahmed moving up to second later on too.
He took the chequered flag with nearly 20 seconds separating him and Ahmed, also setting the fastest lap of the race.
“Overall it was once again a strong weekend. We were leading for most of race one before I was given a drive-through penalty which put me back to seventh place, and race two we had nearly a 20-second gap to second place.
“It was a great performance this weekend from both myself and the team. We have some work to do before we head to the next race at SUGO, but I’m looking forward to it.”
Sacha now leaves Fuji with a 34 point gap to Miyata in the standings. Three rounds and eight races are left for Japanese F3 this year, with Sacha returning to Sportsland SUGO for the next round at the end of July.